Nine Knights Alums Start Season on MLB Rosters.April 3, 2017
Former Corvallis Outfielder Mitch Haniger to Make American League DebutA franchise-record nine former members of the Aloha Knights or Corvallis Knights started the 2017 baseball season on a major-league roster including 2010 teammates Matt Duffy, Matt Boyd and Mitch Haniger (pictured, top row, l-r).
Several more alums made it until the final days of training camp before being sent down to the triple-A affiliate in their respective major-league organizations.
And two more alums will play in Nippon Professional Baseball, Japan's version of the major leagues.
The former Knights on major-league rosters are:
TYLER ANDERSON, Colorado (2009): Tyler became the first Corvallis Knight ever selected in the first round of the MLB draft when Colorado selected him with the 20th pick in 2011. The former Oregon southpaw made his MLB debut in 2016 and was 5-6, 3.54 with the Rockies.
MATT ANDRIESE, Tampa Bay (2010): A right-handed pitcher, the ex-UC Riverside standout went 8-8, 4:37 in 2016, his second season with the Rays. Selected by San Diego in the third round of the 2011 MLB draft, he was traded to Tampa Bay after the 2014 season.
MATT BOYD, Detroit (2010): A left-handed pitcher, Matt also begins his third season in MLB after going 6-5, 4.53 in his first full year with the Tigers in 2016. Selected by Toronto in the sixth round of the 2013 draft after his senior season at Oregon State, he was traded to Detroit in 2015.
MATT DUFFY, Tampa Bay (2010): The third member of our 2010 club in the majors, the former Long Beach State star starts the season on the 10-day disabled list while recovering from offseason heel surgery. Originally selected by San Francisco in the 18th round of the 2012 draft, he finished second in the National League Rookie of the Year race in 2015 and then was traded to Tampa Bay in 2016. He hit a combined .258, with five homers and 28 RBIs, with the Giants and Rays in 2016.
MITCH HANIGER, Seattle (2009): Mitch begins his first season in the Northwest after being traded to Seattle by Arizona following his rookie season. The 2012 Big West Conference Player of the Year at Cal Poly, he was originally drafted by Milwaukee in the second round that year and later traded to the Diamondbacks. The versatile outfielder hit .229, with five homers and 17 RBIs, as a late-season call-up for Arizona in 2016 after being named their Minor League Player of the Year.
BUD NORRIS, Angels (2005): The veteran right-handed pitcher signed with the Angels in the offseason after being released by the Dodgers. He was 6-10, 5.10 with the Dodgers and Braves in 2016. He has played with Houston, San Diego, Baltimore, Atlanta and the Dodgers after being taken by the Astros in the sixth round of the 2006 draft out of Cal Poly.
MARC RZEPCZYNSKI, Mariners (2006): A left-handed reliever, Zep signed with Seattle in the offseason after going 1-0, 2.64 with Oakland and Washington in 2016. He was taken by Toronto in the fifth round in 2007 out of UC Riverside and has also played with the Jays, Indians, Cardinals, Padres, Athletics and Nationals.
CHRIS STEWART, Pirates (2001): The veteran catcher begins his fourth season with the Pirates, his sixth MLB team. Limited by injuries in 2016, he hit .214 with a homer and seven RBIs after batting .294 in 2014 and .289 in 2015. He originally signed with the Chicago White Sox in 2001, out of Riverside City College, and has also played for the Rangers, Yankees, Padres and Giants.
ANDREW SUSAC, Brewers (2009): Andrew begins the season on the 10-day DL with a trapezius injury. He hit .235 with the Brewers in 2016, with a homer and two RBIs, after being acquired in a trade with San Francisco. He was the Giants second-round pick in 2011 following a standout career at Oregon State.
Left-handed pitcher Josh Osich of Oregon State (2008, San Francisco), infielder Danny Hayes of Oregon State (2010, Chicago White Sox) and infielder Matt Hague of Washington/Oklahoma State (2005, Minnesota) were assigned to triple-A in the final weekend of spring training.
Lefty Greg Mahle of UC Santa Barbara (2012, Angels) also begins the year in triple-A after spending part of 2016 in the major leagues.
Former Chicago White Sox/Pittsburgh infielder Brent Morel (2006-07), who played at Cal Poly, re-signed with the Orix Buffaloes in NPB's Pacific League. He hit .234, with eight homers and 34 RBIs with the Buffaloes in 2016, his first season in Japan.
Infielder Dean Green (2008) also signed with NPB's Yakult Swallows in the offseason after reaching triple-A in the Detroit organization. He played at Oklahoma State/Barry University and turned pro in 2011.